TiPb has done the full iPad review, of course, but while we're iPhone, iPod touch, and now iPad-centric, there are a lot of more general technology columnists and gadget bloggers out there who've gone touch-to-screen with Apple latest mobile device, and different perspectives are decidedly a good thing. So here's a roundup of what they think:
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal says it's "pretty close" to a laptop killer. He also got 11:28 of battery time on it!
After spending hours and hours with it, I believe this beautiful new touch-screen device from Apple has the potential to change portable computing profoundly, and to challenge the primacy of the laptop. It could even help, eventually, to propel the finger-driven, multitouch user interface ahead of the mouse-driven interface that has prevailed for decades.
David Pogue of the New York Times actually writes two reviews, one for the more tech-centric critics and one for the more positively inclined mainstream.
The techie review is decidedly negative:
The bottom line is that you can get a laptop for much less money — with a full keyboard, DVD drive, U.S.B. jacks, camera-card slot, camera, the works. Besides: If you’ve already got a laptop and a smartphone, who’s going to carry around a third machine?
The mainstream review is more positive:
The iPad is so fast and light, the multitouch screen so bright and responsive, the software so easy to navigate, that it really does qualify as a new category of gadget. Some have suggested that it might make a good goof-proof computer for technophobes, the aged and the young; they’re absolutely right.
Ed Baig of USA Today says it's a winner.
The iPad is not so much about what you can do — browse, do e-mail, play games, read e-books and more — but how you can do it. That's where Apple is rewriting the rulebook for mainstream computing. There is no mouse or physical keyboard. Everything is based on touch. All programs arrive directly through Apple's App Store. Apple's tablet is fun, simple, stunning to look at and blazingly fast.
Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times says the iPad is pure innovation and one of the best computers ever.
The most compelling sign that Apple got this right is the fact that despite the novelty of the iPad, the excitement slips away after about ten seconds and you’re completely focused on the task at hand ... whether it’s reading a book, writing a report, or working on clearing your Inbox. Second most compelling: in situation after situation, I find that the iPad is the best computer in my household and office menagerie. It’s not a replacement for my notebook, mind you. It feels more as if the iPad is filling a gap that’s existed for quite some time.
Bob "Dr. Mac" LeVitus of the Houston Chronicle says the iPad is better than expected.
It turns out the iPad isn't as much a laptop replacement as I thought (though it could easily be used as one). Instead, it's an entirely new category of mobile device. For example, now when I want to surf the Web from the couch or back deck, the iPad is the device I choose. Starbucks? Same thing. Think of the iPad as a new arrow in your technology quiver, an arrow that will often be the best tool for a given task.
Tim Gideon of PCMag says the iPad just makes sense.
When you combine basic-but-essential work tools with iWork, an improved browser, e-mail, iPod, and photo applications, a well-executed e-Book platform with iBooks, and throw in thousands of downloadable apps and games, and package it all in a gorgeous, slim slate with a beautiful 9.7-inch touch screen, you have yourself a winner.
Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing says the iPad is a touch of genius.
Flick the switch and the novelty hits. Just as the iPhone, Palm Pré and Android phones scratched an itch we didn't know we had, somewhere between cellphone and notebook, the iPad hits a completely new pleasure spot. The display is large enough to make the experience of apps and games on smaller screens stale. Typography is crisp, images gem-like, and the speed brisk thanks to Apple's A4 chip and solid state storage. As I browse early release iPad apps, web pages, and flip through the iBook store and books, the thought hits that this is a greater leap into a new user experience than the sum of its parts suggests.
Joshua Topolsky of Engadget says, like Mau'dib of Dune, the iPad's name is a killing word:
more than a product -- it's a statement, an idea, and potentially a prime mover in the world of consumer electronics. [...] The buyer of an iPad is one of two people, the first is someone who sees not just the present, but the potential of a product like the iPad... and believes in and is excited about that potential. This is also a person who can afford what amounts to a luxury item. The second is an individual who simply doesn't need to get that much work done, and would prefer their computing experience to be easier, faster, and simpler.
Vincent Nguyen of SlashGear thinks it has the same mix of wonder and frustration as past Apple 1.0 devices:
Yes, there is a sense that in the process they’ve simply left out anything they couldn’t polish to the same standard – whether it is Flash, multitasking or a webcam. This is a first generation device, though; look how long it’s taken Apple to deliver on some of the more common phone functionality in their three-generation-old mobile platform. You might not like the way they do it – holding off until the user experience, the market, or the combination of both is right – but millions of happy iPhone owners are evidence that there’s certainly an audience for it.
Matt Miller of ZDNET (and sibling-site Nokia Experts) thinks the hardware is rock-solid but hopes it gets a multitasking software update soon (us too, Matt!)
After several hours of usage, I have to say I am very pleased that I made the purchase. The hardware is better than I thought it would be, developers didn’t just make apps bigger to fit the screen, the battery life reported by everyone has been at least 10 hours, there is more media content than I thought we would see right at launch (Netflix, ABC Player, MLB At Bat), and apps are rolling out fast. With my Palm Pre Plus and free WiFi Hotspot service I think the iPad will actually fill a role in my life as a daily train commuter and heavy web surfer.
So, did any of these reviews change your mind? Did any of them convince you to get an iPad... or convince you not to?